TASO Baseball has collaborated with the UIL and TAPPS to create COVID Mitigation Guidelines for the 2020‑2021 High School Baseball Season.  The Guidelines are based on CDC, Texas Health and Human Services, and the Texas Education Agency.  A detailed presentation is available in your TASO Baseball Member’s Portal, here is an overview:


  • Based on Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA‑29, all employees, parents, visitors and students ten years of age or older and officials must wear face coverings or face shields upon entry to an area where athletic activities are being conducted when not actively practicing or playing in the contest. This means when not actively officiating an athletic contest, you must wear a face covering or shield. This would include walking to and from your car, all pregame conferences, any conversations with game administrators, and fellow officials. Understand that GA‑29 excludes individuals with certain medical conditions and approximately 70 Texas counties where confirmed COVID‑19 cases are minimal.


  • Actively officiating, meaning while play is occurring, the wearing of face coverings is optional, neither required or prohibited by TASO, the UIL or TAPPS. However, individual schools MAY require face coverings to be worn when actively officiating.  The Chapter should discuss with each school and determine what their protocol will be.  Remember, as an independent contractor, you may refuse any assignment.


  • Schools should screen everyone entering the game facility. This may be simply a list of questions but may be supplemented with touchless body temperature scanning.


  • You should keep a face covering with you at all times so it may be slipped on for conversations during time outs and other breaks in the game.


  • Umpires, like players, coaches, and staff, must self‑screen for COVID‑19 symptoms before each game assignment. Symptoms include, but not limited to
Fever Sore Throat
Cough Runny Nose
Shortness of Breath Feeling Unwell
  • If you have these symptoms, you must remove yourself from all assignments until ALL three of the following criteria are met:
    • First, at least 24 hours have passed since recovery. Recovery is defined as the resolution of fever without the use of fever‑reducing medications.
    • Next, the individual has improvement in COVID symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath.
    • and finally, at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Remember all three of these criteria must be met before returning to officiating assignments.

  • If an Umpire has symptoms that could be COVID‑19 but wants to return to officiating before completing the previous re‑entry criteria, the Umpire must either obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return or obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location that comes back negative for COVID‑19.


  • If a player or coach or other contest participant is lab‑confirmed to have COVID‑19 and participated in a contest against other schools, the school must notify the other schools and the officiating chapter involved in the contest. The assignor would then advise the officials involved. If an official is lab confirmed to have COVID‑19, the chapter assignor will notify the schools where the Umpire has been assigned as well as the other Umpires in the same contests.


  • Umpires who test positive for COVID‑19 must be cleared by a physician before they can return to officiating assignments.


  • Face Shields (Face Shields (1‑5‑2) – Per guidance from the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. Plastic shields covering the entire face, unless integrated into and attached to a helmet, shall not be allowed during contests.


  • Additional Equipment (1‑5‑9): Cloth facial coverings are recommended but not required. Facial
    coverings must be of one color, not distracting, and no designs. Pitchers cannot wear white and/or grey cloth facial coverings.


  • Pregame Conference (2‑10‑2): Limit attendees to one coach from each team plus the umpires. Coaches should stay outside the width of the batter’s box at home plate, maintaining 6 feet of distance between each person.


  • Pregame Conference (2‑10‑2): Limit attendees to one coach from each team plus the umpires. Coaches should stay outside the width of the batter’s box at home plate, maintaining 6 feet of distance between each person.


  • Coaching (3‑2‑1): Coaches who wish to discuss a rule or a ruling on the field must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from the umpire.


  • Coaching (3‑2‑3): Base coaches must stay 6 feet from a runner at all times after suspension of play.


  • Bench and Field Conduct (3‑3‑1): Players are not permitted to leave the dugout area to congratulate players coming off field from defense, when scoring or after home runs. The number of individuals in the dugout is dependent on the size of dugout.  Players and coaches must maintain 6 feet of social distance.


  • Charged Conferences (3‑4‑1, 3‑4‑2, 3‑4‑3): Coaches holding defensive conferences must stay on the home plate side of the pitcher’s circle and the player or players must be on the opposite of the pitcher’s circle maintaining the 6 feet distance. Only one coach is permitted during the conference. If a coach visits the pitcher, all other players should stay outside the pitching circle.
  • Exchange of Lineup Cards (4‑1‑3): Lineups should be handed to the umpire, and the umpire will verbally approve or ask any questions about the lineup. Recommended for lineup cards exchanged team to team and teams to scorekeeper to be shared via photo or text.


  • Plate Umpire (10‑2‑1): Plate umpire should stand deeper than normal to call balls and strikes.


  • Mechanics: Base umpires should maintain 6 feet from any player as a starting position when rotated and/or counter rotated.


  • Mechanics: Keep the catcher and batter at a 6‑foot distance when dusting off the plate.


  • Equipment and Apparel Cloth facial coverings for umpires are recommended but not required during play.  Must be of one color and not distracting, no designs or slogans or other writing. Gloves are also permissible.


  • Additional Considerations: Umpires should not handle equipment on the field during play.  Contact with the game balls should be as limited as possible.


  • Additional Considerations: Why not always take your own vehicle, after all, unless the game venue is more than 120 miles away, all officials receive travel reimbursement. If you do share a ride with another Umpire, wear a face covering and practice social distaining as best you can.


  • Additional Considerations: Hand sanitizer should be a staple in everyone’s referee bag and may be carried in your pocket.


  • If the schools are not providing commercially bottled water, bring your own water bottles.  When in doubt if it is your water – get a new one. You may want to think about bringing your own towel, if so, keep it in a secure bag

If you have any additional questions, please send them to